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recent times,1 all warm from the heart of the country, living, moving, full of colour, an almost dazzling reproduction of life. The 'Daily Mail,' we understand, unlike other efforts which seemed just as likely to succeed, was doing well before; but these letters gave it a literary position to which it previously had no pretensions: and here we have in a volume the collected result. 'The Land of the Dollar' is a book which we almost feel ought to march by itself, like Donatello's statue. It is so crisp with young energy and force that it is curious to see it rest quiet on an ordinary table. When one opens it, which is it that runs, that strides with a wind of going which blows us all about, we the reader, or the book? are there, we are not here, hurrying along with a delight in the pace, in the sense of movement, in the rapid succession of scenes, which is almost like that of a performer in them. Was it you and we or Mr Steevens who saw that blazing procession in Chicago — who looked down upon that amazing town with the sea air in our nostrils yet the smoke in our throat? We protest we are not sure. We think it must have been ourselves, in the body or out of the body, who was there.
It has been the fate of most of us, one time or another, to read a great deal about America. In a great many cases we know exactly what is going to be said upon the chief subjects. But this, the result of long suffering and experience, does not help us with Mr Steevens's book. We had not in the least divined it: it is too fresh, too real, to be anything but a kind of revelation, even though we may
have known the facts before. And I doubt whether any number of us knew the facts. This about the air, for instance-who ever told us anything before about the air?
"I am not a chameleon-I cannot live on air. Neither am I a Napoleon, to go without my rightful sleep. Yet the air of America would make a chapoleon [the pun is boyish, but never mind], as one might say, of anybody.
"Never was there such a stimulating, bracing air-meat and intoxicating drink together. You would not call it a kindly, perhaps not even a wholesome, air. I have found it drop from 94° to 47° in two days. I am told it will not uncommonly sink from 75° to zero in a night. An air like this will find out the weak spot and finish you before you have found it out yourself. Yet it is made of tone and vigour, and in the strength of it you can go for days and nights eating little and sleeping less, and feel like a lion
at the end."
This should almost neutralise the effects of the ice water, of which Mr Steevens speaks so feelingly, and which he believes is working away the morals and the interiors of the most dyspeptic of nations; nor does he seem to have been impressed by the food, the "awesome squab on toast," the mutton and beef "coarse in grain, insipid in flavour, usually tough and invariably half raw";- but the sweets! these indeed seem to be the triumph of an American feast. Despising them at first, "like all male Britons over twenty," he found in the end that " briefly, they tempt a man to forget his manhood.' If there remains in Great Britain, therefore, any man who has what used to be called a sweet tooth, it is clearly his best policy to go to America.
But these are trifles. New
1 The Land of the Dollar. By G. W. Steevens. W. Blackwood & Sons : Edinburgh and London.
VOL. CLXI.-NO. DCCCCLXXVIII.
York, Chicago, Washington, Leadville, Niagara, are the bigger points in the landscape-the last of these wonders, so hackneyed and worn out as it is, looking actually, for once in a way, as if some one were seeing it for the first time. Chicago, we think, is the central point of all. It seems to have impressed Mr Steevens's imagination with its mingled grandeur and foulness: its beautiful great lake like a sea, the immense buildings like the Alps, mountains of buildings, serried ranks of heaven - scaling peaks." The homes of the great
merchants line the Lake shore, built of "great blocks of roughhewn granite, red or grey. Their massive weight is relieved by wide round arches for doors and windows, by porches and porticoes, loggias and galleries, over the whole face of the building from top to bottom. The effect is almost prehistoric in its massive simplicity, something like the cyclopean ruins of Mycenae or Tiryns." But be hind backs is "a vast wilderness of shabby houses-a larger and more desolate Whitechapel that can hardly have a parallel for sordid dreariness in the world."
"This is the home of labour, and of nothing else. The evening's vacancy brings relief from toil, the morning's toil relief from vacancy. Little shops compete frantically for what poor trade there is with tawdry advertisements. Street stretches beyond street of little houses, mostly wooden, begrimed with soot, rotting, falling to pieces. The pathways are of rickety and worm-eaten planks, such as we should not tolerate for a day in London as a temporary gangway where a house is being built. Here the boarding is flush with the street; there it drops to it in a two-foot precipice, over which you might easily break your leg. The streets are quagmires of black mud, and no attempt is made to repair them. They are miserably lighted, and no
body thinks of illuminating them. The police force is so weak that men and women are held up and robbed almost nightly within the city limits; nobody thinks of strengthening it. Here and there is a pit or a dark cellar left wholly unguarded for the unwary passenger to break his neck in. All these miles of unkempt slum and wilderness betray a disregard for human life which is more than half barbarous. If you come to your death by misadventure among these pitfalls, all the consolation your friends will get from Chicago is to be told that you ought to have taken better care of yourself. You were is no more to be said about it." unfit; you did not survive. There
Within reach of these slums Mr Steevens then shows us the Field Columbian Museum, which is situated in the Art Building, now the only part remaining of the World's Fair, and which, as he says with enthusiasm almost American, is "as divinely proportioned a building as ever filled and satisfied the eye of man." It was endowed by its founder with "a cool million of dollars." It has received since from various citizens nearly twelve million dollars more. "Think of it, depressed Oxford and Cambridge -a university endowed at the rate of half a million sterling a-year!"
"Two other prominent Chicago men found themselves in Paris a while ago, when a collection of pictures was being sold promptly they bought up a hundred and eighty thousand dollars' worth for the gallery of their city. There is hardly a leading name in the business of the place but is to be found beneath a picture given or lent to this gallery."
Mr Steevens, however, does not tell us what kind of pictures these are, and we feel a little distrust of the millionaire's judgment generally, though it is to be hoped he was guided by more cultivated taste than his own. But the description of all this magnificence
awakens in our mind a whimsical the colours of the rainbow, testified recollection. When Chicago was to M'Kinley for one thing, but burned ('tis, Mr Steevens tells us, more specially to the glory of twenty-five years ago) there was Chicago in the twenty-fifth annia little benevolent movement in- versary of her renewed being. It augurated by some of those amiable lasted for five hours, and seems to busybodies who have been so eager have completely overwhelmed the that we should show our goodwill spectator, who describes himself as to America on every possible occa- staggering back to his hotel stunned sion to send the ruined city a few and blinded by the extraordinary books to amuse itself withal in sight,-"A hundred thousand men, the moment of deepest depression. more than thirteen miles of proThese good people went round to cession!" all the authors to beg a few of their works, immortal and otherwise, and, I believe, obtained a few boxfuls of novels, and probably other works, to establish the nucleus of another library, and show how England loved America! One wonders if those kind, too kind, friends feel a little ashamed of their exertions when they read of the splendours of the new University and its income of half a
million a year. The English writers, half-pleased, half-puzzled, who gave a few superfluous copies of their works to found the new library, most of them, let us hope, with a secret sense of the absurdity, will doubtless laugh now shamefacedly at their contribution. Were they cast to the pigs, we wonder, these humble benefactions? Let us hope that nobody will be tempted to promote goodwill by any such amiable folly again.
The reader must, however, turn for himself to the "Biggest Parade on Earth," which was not the procession in New York of which we read in all the papers, but a corresponding one in Chicago, only much more brilliant in colour and decoration, where there were badges, medals, ensigns, and other glittering things among others, capes apparently made of cloth-of-gold but really of gilt paper, which, along with many other ornamental garments in red and blue and all
"There was more colour and more noise and more men than you could conceive were in the whole world-a world of brilliant bunting and brass and horses, and moving men, men, men, till you gave up and let it sweep over you and conquer you and absorb you."
Mr Steevens is of opinion that this is the American method of spreading an opinion. "They have discovered in this country," he says, "the effects of the spectacular and the auricular. You can disregard argument; you can forget country; you can even refuse a bribe. But you cannot fail to see and hear and to be struck wellnigh resistless by so imperious and masterful an appeal to the senses."
We wonder what the effect would be if we adopted the American method, and the men of London in this year of celebration were invited to parade for the Queen. But the men of London are not simple-minded enough; they are too civilised, perhaps, too shamefaced, not willing to expose themselves to possible ridicule. What good would that do her? they would ask.
They have not the histrionic impulse, the instinct of self-display. They would laugh at themselves, and the bystanders would laugh, especially if they had gilt capes and carried scarlet umbrellas, and wore parti-coloured sashes and
white gauntlets and gold cords round their hats; and how the gamins would jeer! Even the gamins seem to be impressed in America but we fear that in Fleet Street this is more than could be expected. Imagine the establishments of Messrs Shoolbred and of Messrs Whiteley turning out to march through Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road for the Queen! "The great drapery establishment of Marshall Field & Company led the way-six partners of the firm riding abreast, and after them shop-walkers, salesmen, cashiers, porters, office-boys!" I am afraid that London would be convulsed with laughter instead of taking the spectacle seriously.
There is something very piquant in stepping back from the extremely lively To-day of Mr Steevens into Yesterday, mysterious and picturesque, full of intrigue and bewildering ups and downs, and such perpetual doublings and disguises as confuse the eyesight. Mr Andrew Lang a few years ago was chiefly known as an admirable writer, without anything very definite to say we do not know what action of circumstances or impulse of grace has turned him into a historical student, as learned. and industrious as he was once light-minded and elegant; but it is a good thing for us all that he has retained the graces of the earlier epoch to add charm to the researches of the new. His present subject is not so purely romantic, so inspiring and noble, as that study of Joan of Arc and her times which produced the 'Monk of Fife.' It is indeed a terrible chapter of history which he unfolds in the revelation of the Spy, a story of human baseness and
dishonour, of the downfall of high hopes and character, the worsening of everything and everybody concerned in what was at first, whatever its consequences and even motives might be, a high chivalrous enterprise, which wounds the sympathetic spectator, however little of a Jacobite he may be. Some critics have indeed attributed to Mr Lang a deliberate intention to break the charm of Jacobitism altogether by showing how poor a thing it was, much as Messrs Henley and Henderson are afraid they have done with Burns. And we doubt that a good many old-fashioned people in Scotland may object to Mr Lang's exposure of Pickle the Spy. Were we a Macdonald we should resent it warmly, especially as the evidence Mr Lang gives, though very plausible, contains no element of certainty, and is purely circumstantial, not enough to hang a man upon, we think, therefore scarcely enough to shatter his character. In all probability Mr Lang is right; but had we any special interest in the question we think we should claim, at least, a verdict of Not Proven, which, by the bye, for all practical purposes, is worse than guilty.
Pickle, a wretch of literary tendencies, since he took his nickname from Smollett's 'Peregrine Pickle,' was a Jacobite conspirator for James III. and his son, in the days when there was still some hope for the Stuarts, in his true name: and a servile spy reporting all their conspiracies to George II. under the other. The existence of this personage has been very well known for a long time, but no one had tracked him to his lair till Mr Andrew Lang found the scent and followed him remorselessly to the earth up to this time honoured
1 Pickle, the Spy. By Andrew Lang. Longmans & Co.
and consecrated, where the paltry villain lies as if he were, like the rest of his race, a true man. It had been supposed for this century back that he was another man, a man already well weighted with infamy, and to whom a little more shame or a little less did not matter. But, alas, Mr Lang has found no difficulty in proving that Pickle was not James Mohr Macgregor. Was it really Glengarry, "the young Glengarry," chief of the most important of the clans, the handsome, accomplished young Celtic aristocrat, supposed to risk everything, his head included, for his romantic master? Mr Lang thinks Sir Walter knew it, but would not tell; and we do not think, though we are neither Jacobite nor Highlander, that we should have liked to tell but still that is an absurdity, and we already know that the whole age, though affording remarkable instances of the most romantic fidelity, was at the same time soaked in falsehood, treachery, and lies of every description. It is perhaps natural to conspirators, when once introduced to that labyrinth of intrigue, secrecy, and subtlety, where he who can best deceive his neighbour is the best man, to be led away by the very instinct which fits them for it. A man who is bursting with secrets has probably much greater temptation to betray them than one used to the common ways of honest life, when he finds himself suddenly burdened with too much knowledge. The labyrinth has an attraction which it is hard to escape, and no doubt there is a perverse pleasure in working out the double plot, framed on one side, and betrayed on the other, by the same impulse of mystification, chicanery, and deceit.
Pickle's letters in themselves are not exciting. It was no doubt ex
citing to hunt him up through print and manuscript, finding traces of him in unlooked-for corners, and fully realising the surprise of the discovery that a picturesque Highland chief should fulfil such an office; but the traitorous gossip of a betrayer is not more entertaining than innocent gossip. Indeed it is curious to note how little all the accessories, in themselves so romantic,-the wandering Prince appearing now here, now there, like a Will-o'-the-wisp, the handsome and splendid traitor, familiar in all fine society, though writing like an old woman, - succeed in moving our interest, and how little entertaining are the revelations which ought to have kept us breathless with excitement. Here is a more than usually interesting paragraph. It was written when "Lord Elibank's plot," which we hope the reader remembers, was on the point of execution-which it never was, however, for reasons which will be discovered in Mr Lang's volume:
"The Young Chevalier has been in close correspondence with England for a year and a halph past. Mr Cade, the historian, has carried frequent messages. They never commit anything to writing. Elderman Hathcot is a principal manager. The very words the young Pretender told me was that all this scheme was laid
and transacted by Whiggers, that no Roman Catholic was concerned, and oblidged me to give my word and honour that I would write nothing concerning him or his plan to Rome. After what I said last night this is all that occurs to me for the present. I will lose no time in my transactions, and I will take care they will allways be conform to your directions; and as I have thrown myself completely upon you, I am determined to run all hasards upon this occasion, which I hope will entitle me to your favour and his Majesty's protection." A little later Mr Lang points